Instant Pot Choco-Spice Layer Cake with Mocha Buttercream Frosting has notes of cinnamon, ginger, coffee and cocoa bakes up light and fluffy.
Did you know that you can bake a moist and fluffy layer cake in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker? Layers of moist cake filled with buttercream frosting. Who doesn’t love layer cakes?
If you have never made a cake using steam, you are in for a treat. I’ve been baking cakes on top of my stove using a steam method Turbo Cooker. Yes, I bought this off the TV Infomercial many years ago. Choco Spice Layer cake is equally as delicious using an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker.
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Ingredients for Choco Spice Layer Cake
- Cake Flour or 00 Pizzeria Flour
- Eggs, Butter, Milk
- Natural Cocoa, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg
- Vanilla, Sugar
Choco Spice Layer Cake can be made in a pressure cooker or in the oven, your choice. Instant Pot Choco Spice Layer Cake is my preference!
It’s best to use room temperature ingredients.
Food Processor v. Electric Hand Mixer
- Both type of mixing appliances will get the job done. Use whichever you prefer.
- When mixing the sugar and butter for cakes, I tend to go with a hand mixer rather than a food processor as I like the fluffiness the hand mixer gives when mixing the sugar and butter. I recommend the Cuisinart Hand Mixer.
Pro Tip: After mixing the butter and sugar together, add in the eggs, one at a time and mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides.
Best Cocoa for Choco-Spice Layer Cake
Alkalized and Non Alkalized Cocoa
- Alkalization or “Dutch Processing” raises the pH in the cocoa, which smooths out and reduces the sour and bitter flavor undertones in cocoa. Alkalization improves its dispersion in liquids, and gives cocoa a a darker, almost black color. This process also reduces flavanoid (antioxidant) content to some extent. Most baking recipes call for Dutch processed cocoa.
- Natural or non alkalized cocoa powder is naturally acidic and its flavor is a bit fruity and bitter and better for drinking cocoa and Gooey Hot Fudge Sauce.
- I recommend both the Rodelle Dutch Processed Baking Cocoa Powder and the Ghirardelli Premium Cocoa Powder brands of alkalized/Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Both brands are a gourmet cocoa processed with alkali to reduce acidity and best for baked goods.
Cocoa powder and milk become very rich when heated. Make sure to keep the heat low and stir until just warmed through and combined.
Type of Flour to Use
- The original recipe calls for just Cake Flour. Cake flour is a softer and lighter flour than all purpose flour.
- As an experiment, I used 00 pizza flour combined with regular all purpose flour. The results were even better than just cake flour.
- I recommend Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour in the Blue Bag.
- The consistency of Choco Spice Layer Cake was moister and more tender with the two flours.
Pro Tip: While just cake flour is fine to use, I recommend the combination of the two.
Use a medium mixing bowl to combine the dry ingredients.
Flour can measured by weight or by cups.
How to Measure Flour
- Using a scale to weigh flour will give the most accurate measurement. I recommend this Bakers Math Kitchen Scale with Percentages. Different types of flour will weigh different amounts if only measured by the cup full.
- Therefore, when using a dry measuring cup and not a scale to measure flour, it is important to make sure the flour is properly aerated. Rather than dunking the dry measuring vessel into the container of flour, grab a Tablespoon and sprinkle spoonfuls of flour from the container into the dry measuring cup. Use the flat side of a butter knife to scrape off the excess.
For more details, please ready my article on How to Properly Measure Flour.
Pro Tip: Improper measurement of flour leads to a heavy and rubbery cake texture, whether the cake is made in an Instant Pot or in the oven.
Using an Electric Hand Mixer, the hot cocoa milk gets blended into the sugar butter mixture. Then the flour and the rest of the ingredients are added.
Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while adding the rest of the ingredients.
This is the Stainless Steel Pan I use for my Pressure Cooker Perfectly Cooked Pot in Pot Rice recipe. I love this pan because it does double and triple duty. It is the perfect size for this cake at almost 8 inches. The mini pans it comes with can be used for my Quick Egg Custard recipe.
For baking in the oven, place two cake pans in the oven and bake, until toothpick test comes out clean.
Please see my article on Making and Using a Foil Sling in the Pressure Cooker.
This Choco-Spice Layer Cake Recipe can be baked in an Instant Pot or in the oven. Below in the finished and frosted cake photo, you will see two layers. of cake. One layer was baked in the Instant Pot and one baked in the oven.
Instant Pot v. Oven Baking
- Both baking methods come out super terrific. The cake which baked in the oven (see above collage, bottom right photo) comes out with a bit of a browned top and a few cracks on the top.
- The cake baked in the Instant Pot comes out with a few air bubbles and is not browned.
How To Check Cake for Doneness
- Once the cake has been removed from oven or pressure cooker, use a toothpick, knife or stainless steel cake tester. Insert the rod into into the cake, about 1/2 way down into the cake.
- The rod should come out clean and not moist.
- If it is not clean, but the cake back into the Oven or Pressure Cooker for another five minutes, or until done.
Pro Tip: Place cake pan on a stainless steel wire baking rack to test. Once it is determined that cake is completely cooked, wait 10 minutes and then invert cake onto the wire baking rack until ready to frost.
While the cake is cooling, mix up my Sinfully Delicious Mocha Frosting. It is best to have the butter at room temperature.
How to Layer Cakes
- In order to layer the cakes, take a very sharp knife and cut along the top of the cake so that it will sit nice and flat.
- Place one cake on a tray or round cake board. With a spatula, evenly spread the frosting over the top of the cake.
- Cut the top of the second cake and then flip it over onto the bottom cake. This will give you a very nice flat cake. If you prefer a rounded top cake, simply place the second cake right on top of the frosted first cake.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake. A revolving cake stand makes frosting a cake so much easier.
Pro Tip: Unlike what I did in the above photo (mine is super messy), I recommend using an Wilton Offset Spatula for evenly frosting the cake.
Result of Baking in Instant Pot and Oven
- One layer of this cake was baked in the Pressure Cooker and the other layer was baked in the oven. There is literally zero difference in taste. Can you tell the difference?
- The top layer was baked in the Instant Pot. Instant Pot Choco Spice Layer Cake for the win. It is not a huge difference, but enough (in my opinion) to continue to bake this cake in the Instant Pot. Much to my surprise, I preferred the texture of the cake made in the pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
- As I said above, I have been steaming my cakes (cooking on the stove top) for many years as I love the fluffiness and moistness it adds. With my recipe, the cake cooked in the Instant Pot was moist, but not overly heavy and dense. It is a dense cake, but not overly so.
- The cake baked in the oven was also incredibly delicious and I would not balk at it whatsoever!
This Choco Spice Layer Cake with Mocha Buttercream Frosting recipe is great to use to make Cup Cakes! It is also a good recipe to use, to make cake in a jar. This cake freezes well. I like to slice it first and place waxed paper between each slice, so that I can grab a slice from the freezer, whenever I like. Enjoy!
More Fantastic Cake Recipes to Make:
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Bundt Cake w/Butterscotch
- Chocolate Eau Claire Éclair Cake
- Best Ever Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
- Instant Pot Banana Nut Bread [Grandma Mills]
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- LamsonSharp Chef’s Slotted Turner– I totally love this spatula!
- Baker’s Scale
- Stainless Steel Trivet
- 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
- Ekovana Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Stackable Pans Set
- Microplane Stainless Steel Zester
- Cuisinart Hand Mixer
- 1-1/2 Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan
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Here is your handy printable recipe:
Choco-Spice Layer Cake with Buttercream Mocha FrostingPrint Pin SaveSaved! Rate
- 3/4 cup Butter softened
- 1 1/2 cup White Sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 1/4 cup Milk divided
- 3 Tablespoons Rodelle Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- 2 cups Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour (Blue Bag) (or 3 cups cake flour)
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour (If using cake flour, omit all purpose flour)
- 3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Whole Nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In a small pan heat ¾ cup milk and sprinkle in cocoa powder. Stir until the the cocoa powder is dissolved and milk is warm, NOT hot.
- Pour into butter mixture and beat well.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- Slowly add the flour mixture with the remaining milk to the Butter mixture and beat well after each addition.
- Add vanilla to batter and beat to combine.
- Pour half (700 grams) into greased and floured 7.5 inch cake pan.
- Add 1.5 cups of water to Pressure Cooker cooking pot and place a Trivet.
- Using a Sling, lower pan into Pressure Cooker.
- Lock on Lid and close Pressure Valve.
- Cook at High Pressure for 30 minutes. When Beep sounds, allow a 15 minute Natural Pressure Release.
- Insert cake tester into middle of cake to test for doneness. Cake tester should come out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool.
- Dump water from Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Repeat process for second cake, using cool water in the Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour into two greased and floured 8 inch cake pans, approximately 700 grams each.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until brown and springy. Insert cake tester into middle of cake to test for doneness. Cake tester should come out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to thoroughly cool.
- Prepare Mocha Frosting according to instructions.
- 3 cups of Cake Flour can be used instead of the Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour (Blue Bag)/All Purpose Flour, but the cake will not be as moist and fluffy; or
- 6 Tablespoons Potato Starch + enough All Purpose Flour to equal three cups can be substituted for the 3 cups of Flour.
PIN this Instant Pot Choco Spice Cake!